Photo courtesy Lara Swimmer
The $55.9-million, three-phase project called for a complete infrastructure upgrade to the historic Seattle market.

Even with the difficulty of planning for the unknown, Turner Construction's mantra during renovation of Seattle's 100-year-old Pike Place Market on a bustling downtown hillside was "overcommunicate and minimize surprises."

Scott Paul, Turner senior project manager in Seattle, says project managers had to remain "flexible enough to accommodate unforeseen conditions, special tenant circumstances and owner requests while keeping field crews efficient and on schedule." The $55.9-million, three-phase project called for a complete infrastructure upgrade to the historic downtown market. But with 220 commercial tenants, 350 residents, 300 day-stall tenants and 400 buskers, or public performers, in 14 buildings on nine acres—not to mention 10 million annual visitors—communication was paramount.

Along with weekly owner meetings, Turner also was involved as Pike Place management and tenants met weekly to track progress and highlight schedules. "We knew that if for some reason they did not have the latest information or plan—as it changed quickly—that it could hinder our ability to keep moving forward," Paul says.

Turner also had a running list of contingency plans to refocus crews when unforeseen conditions arose and to collaborate with the design team while not losing work time.

The three phases lasted about one year each, including everything from full replacement of plumbing and electrical wiring, additional restrooms and elevators, new flooring, roofing, a mechanical plant and seismic upgrades.

In one case, crews needed to build a three-story brace-frame, relocate ductwork and even move a restaurant's front door—all during working hours. Turner communicated with tenants hourly to update them about possible disruptions.

Working on a hill also provided challenges, including lowering an elevator an additional two stories and digging an electrical vault below the column footings of an occupied building. Using 3-D computer modeling in concert with building information modeling allowed accurate coordination of design concepts with existing conditions.


Key Players

General Contractor: Turner Construction, Seattle

Owner: City of Seattle, Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA), Seattle

Design Firm: SRG Architects, Seattle

Submitted by Turner Construction

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